challenge: day 10

*** last day of our 10 day challenge/ giveaway*** and this is my all time favourite practice of wellbeing – singing.
Today your challenge is to sing! It could be singing along to your favourite song… it could be singing in the shower… it could be chanting om for 2 minutes… it could be singing along to this chant that I’ve recorded for you (it is four lines repeated, you can sing it as a canon if you like or simply sing along, put it on repeat so you can lose yourself in the chant).   https://soundcloud.com/alexandrawestaway/dance-lightly
However you love to use your voice…do it. Put your heart into it. Express yourself through your voice. You don’t have to think you are a  “good singer”…the benefits of chanting and singing are many…and this is why i started my sound circles 8 years ago.

I’d love to hear about what you chose to sing, so please do share in the comments below.

Thanks for joining me for 10 days of challenges. The new moon in Aquarius was in the early hours of this morning, so we are now in the Chinese Year of the Monkey! Wishing you all a mindful and joyful new year!

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challenge: day 9

we are nearing the end of our 10 day challenge. i hope you are enjoying the practices, and perhaps feel inspired to include some of them in your daily life.

today I am sharing one of my favourite practices, that i have found particularly beneficial for many years now…self-massage. in Ayurveda, this practice is called abhyanga, however i am going to explain a simplified process to keep this easy to include in your day straight away. i encourage you to google the traditional practice if you would like more detail and explanation.

i like to take a really relaxed free attitude to this practice to begin with…no rules, no shoulds….just choose a part of your body that you feel could use a massage and do it. you might rub your shoulders through your shirt. you might spend 3 minutes slowly massaging your face when you put moisturiser on. you might sit and massage your feet with coconut oil. or before you hop in the shower, spend 5-10 minutes massaging your whole body with whatever oil you have at hand. notice your self-talk while doing this practice. do you have positive thoughts toward your body, or critical thoughts. this is valuable information about our habits of thought toward ourselves, which we have the power to shift once we bring them to awareness.

practice being kind and loving toward your body, toward your whole self, even if it’s just for 3 minutes…it all makes a difference. enjoy and appreciate the experience of being in this amazing body of yours!

**** giveaway **** today’s giveaway is a little different. it is an accumulative challenge, combined with our final day tomorrow. i am giving the gift of a custom full 108 +1 bead mala in a combination of rosewood beads, and either rose quartz, green or natural agate, yellow calcite, red coral, onyx, green aventurine, lava stone, or your chosen combination of these. to go in the draw for this gift you will need to do the following –

* be a liker of my luna bloom facebook page (or follow on Instagram),

* like both the day 9 AND day 10 posts on facebook or Instagram

* comment about your experience of the challenge on both the day 9 AND day 10 posts on facebook or Instagram, before midnight AEST each day

* share the day 9 challenge post on facebook (or regram the post on Instagram)

you must follow all these steps to be in the draw for the custom mala, as well as have an Australian postal address for delivery of the mala.

challenge: day 8

ever since i was a child, i have had allergic reactions to chemical fragrances and products. i used to run through the perfume section of myers holding my breath to avoid getting a chemical scent spray headache when going there with my mum. i’ve used essential oils and non-toxic options since i started researching options in my teen years, and i got really serious about non-toxic and environmentally friendly products when pregnant with my first child. this is how i came to create luna bloom…i wanted to share with others the simplicity and awesomeness of using and creating toxic-free body and household products, as well as the importance of nurturing ourselves and taking responsibility for our own wellbeing.

today i want to encourage you create a natural facemask from ingredients you already have in your kitchen. i’ll give you some suggestions, and you can let your creativity loose, and then enjoy your own hand-made, natural facemask.

all you need is to add some dry ingredients to some wet ingredients to create a mask with the correct consistency to stick on your face. you can try oatmeal, ground nuts, rice flour (or other grain flour), etc. about two tablespoons if using just for one person. for our wet ingredients you can simply use water, or a brewed herbal tea (natural blends only, no artificially flavoured teas), or for a very creamy mask you can use milk or yoghurt. you could also add in some blended fruit (mango, strawberry, watermelon are lovely options) or avocado for some extra active ingredients. add a little of the wet ingredients at a time until you reach the correct paste-like consistency. i wholeheartedly encourage experimenting with what you have in your kitchen. just avoid anything you are allergic to, and if you have very sensitive skin perhaps test the mask on the inside of your wrist before placing on your face.

now apply to your whole face, avoiding the sensitive eye area (you could place cucumber slices here for a cooling, soothing treat) and sit and relax for 5 or 10 minutes while the mask does it’s work. rinse off with warm water and a soft facecloth, and apply your favourite moisturiser if desired. a lovely way to nurture yourself on a sunday!

*** giveaway *** to go in the draw to win a jar of my hydrating hemp cream simply let me know what you used in your facemask and how you enjoyed the challenge. to go in the draw you must comment either below, or on the facebook or Instagram posts, before midnight AEST tonight, and have an Australian postal address.

 

challenge: day 7

today lets do something fun! we’ve done lots of noticing and awareness practice, and discovered some interesting things about ourselves. our practice today is about exploring the simple joy of moving our bodies. so often we focus on fixing our bodies through exercise or diet…and they can start to feel like a bit of a punishment. but our bodies are primed for us to experience pleasure and joy when we move in ways that the body enjoys.

the challenge is simple. put on some favourite music…just one song. perhaps practice our grounding breath exercise from day 3 first, then put on your song. begin to tune in to the music. then let your body show you how it wants to move to this music. let movement arise from within. maybe your hands will begin to move first, or your head, or perhaps your hips will sway. this will be different each time you practice it depending on your mood, on the song, on the weather! allow yourself to move in whatever way gives you pleasure in each moment. you may want to keep dancing so have some other tunes lined up so you can go with the flow.

***giveaway*** to go in the draw to win a pair of my handmade origami crane earrings (I will make them custom so you will have choice of style) simply comment about your experience either here or on the facebook or Instagram posts…what music you chose, and how you found the experience of allowing movement to arise from within. you must have an Australian postal address, and comment before midnight AEST tonight to go in the draw.

 

challenge: day 6

I’ve got something a little different for us today. our challenge today is about bringing awareness to habits.

when I was 19 I worked in a deli, and had a bit of an incident involving a meat slicer and my middle finger on my dominant hand. I lost a slice off the top of my finger and for a few months was unable to use my dominant hand for much at all. the upside of this was becoming aware of just how unconscious my use of my right hand was, and how difficult it could be to get my left hand to perform the same tasks. but in that few months I began to become proficient with my left hand for all my tasks (including writing) and noticed benefits for my mind and general awareness as well. it is really quite handy being ambidextrous…so I have kept up this practice throughout my life since that deli incident prompted me into this awareness.

so our challenge today, is to use your non-dominant hand to perform some of the tasks you would usually automatically use your dominant had for. choose simple tasks like opening doors, using a spoon, pegging clothes on the line, pressing buttons on machines. if you are up for a bit more of challenge, try writing or brushing your teeth! notice how often you automatically use your dominant hand, and observe how it feels to switch and change to you non-dominant hand for these tasks.

***giveaway*** to go in the draw to win one of my 15ml perfume rollers of your choice simply comment below (or on the facebook or Instagram posts) about your experience with noticing your habits around your dominant/non-dominant hands. you must have an Australian postal address, and comment before midnight AEST tonight to go in the draw.

challenge: day 5…half way

today we are at the half way point of the 10 day challenge! a lovely spot to pause for a moment and consider what we are grateful for. research shows that we can make tangible improvements in our mood when we make a practice of noticing what we are grateful for in our lives, as a counter to the often more prevalent noticing of what we are dissatisfied with or wish to change.

so our challenge today is a very simple (yet proven to have profound benefits) one.

to go in the draw to win one of my handmade lavender eye pillows simply comment below (or on the facebook or Instagram posts) 3 things (simple or grand) for which you are grateful right now. you must have an Australian postal address, and comment before midnight AEST tonight to go in the draw.

challenge: day 4

over the last three days we have noticed our senses, noticed our breath, and then used the breath to ground the body.

today, lets bring mindfulness to something we often do without paying much attention…drinking or eating.

sit down with either a cup of tea or a snack or meal today. i’ll use the example of drinking tea, but you can adapt the practice to eating if you prefer.

first notice your surroundings, and ground your body. use all of your senses to appreciate your tea. the sound of the tea as you pour it into your cup. the warmth of the cup in your hands. the scent of the tea as you bring it to your lips. the taste of your tea as you sip it slowly. the feeling of relaxation that sweeps through your body as you take this little ritual as a special moment in your day.

really take your time to savour every moment of this cup of tea…giving thanks for all that enables you to enjoy this experience.

***giveaway*** to go in the draw to win three packs of my dog ear – page savers (origami bookmarks – they seem a bit quirky and odd, but they are really so handy for marking out favourite recipes, or passages in a book you would like to come back to, etc) comment about your mindful drinking/eating experience either here, or on the Instagram or facebook posts before midnight tonight AEST. postage to Australian addresses only.